Why Christians Should Reconsider Using “The Pill”

Wes  —  February 23, 2012 — 12 Comments
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Two of the best days of my life were the days my boys were born. Each time, I was in awe! The child that I had waited nine months to meet was finally here. I remember, when my wife was pregnant with our first, looking at the ultrasound and saying, “How could anyone say that’s not a person? That’s my son!”

I would never intentionally do anything to put my children in harm’s way. I would have never encouraged my wife to have taken something into her body which could potentially harm my children while she was carrying them. But, there’s a possibility that many of us have unintentionally put our children into harm’s way. In fact, there’s a possibility we may have done much worse.

I believe, because there is an overwhelming amount of evidence in Scripture, that life begins at conception. I do not believe life begins at birth. I do not believe life begins one day, two days, three weeks, or three months after conception, but at the moment an egg is fertilized by sperm. So, when I refer to a fertilized egg, I’m referring to a human child.

Before I delve any further into this very sensitive subject, I want to say a few things. First, I’m not a doctor (I don’t even play one on T.V.), I’m not a scientist, and I didn’t even do that well in college biology. I want to encourage you to investigate these issues for yourself. But do not write this issue off saying, “Wes has no idea what he’s talking about.” It very well might be, I don’t know what I’m talking about; but there are a lot of good doctors and scientist who say this is an issue that should concern every Christian who believes life begins at conception!

Second, I am just as guilty as anyone at being ignorant and misinformed. I am writing this article because I was outraged to find out there was even a possibility that something I encouraged my wife to put into her body could cause her to unknowingly abort our child! I am not writing this article to judge, condemn, or tell you what you ought to do. I’m writing this article because if you care about the sanctity of human life, you need to be informed.

Let me explain (as I understand it) how “the pill” and other hormone contraceptives work (their mechanism of action):

1. Inhibits ovulation. In other words, it keeps the egg from becoming available to be fertilized.

2. Thickens the cervical mucus. This mucus blocks the sperm, to keep the egg from being fertilized.

With both of these first points, I have no problem. All that is happening with these is that the life is being prevented, not terminated. It is with the third point, I have a huge problem.

3. Thins the lining of the uterus (endometrium), which “reduces the likelihood of implantation.” 

In other words, if an egg is fertilized, it is (in theory) more likely to die because it cannot be implanted. Most women taking the pill believe all they are doing is preventing life from being formed. However, there is a very real possibility that life is not only being prevented, it is dying inside the woman’s body.

This information comes straight from the Physician’s Desk Reference. I would encourage you to visit the Physician’s Desk Reference website and check out what I’m telling you. Go to www.pdr.net, in the search box type in the brand name of a contraceptive. Then, click on “concise monograph.” Last, click on “mechanism of action.” If, for example, you look up the drug, “Ortho Tri-Cyclen” here’s what you’ll see:

It is the phrase, “reduces likelihood of implantation” which should concern you. It means there is (at least the possibility) that the pill creates an environment where a fertilized egg (a human child) has the “likelihood” of dying!

This information was recently brought to my attention by Dr. Brad Harrub. You can hear Dr. Harrub’s lesson on this subject by purchasing the mp3 download from Polishing the Pulpit. It is well worth the $1.99 price!

Also, read both sides of the “Oral Contraceptive Controversy” from the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The papers on both sides are laden with medical and scientific terminology. But to summarize, there are doctors on both ends of this debate. Some say that abortion does not and cannot occur. The other side says it absolutely can and does.

To me, the answer is simple; if a drug could possibly create an environment where my preborn child has the “likelihood” of dying, I’ll pass! I love life and I choose to do my best to protect life, before and after a child is born.

You must soberly and prayerfully consider this issue. Like me, you were probably unaware of this information. Now you are aware. I encourage you to dig deeper and see what else you find. If you uncover pertinent information, please consider sharing it with me and others. I believe we must make people aware of this issue. Friends, lives are at stake!

I love you and the God, who gives life, loves you,

Wes McAdams

 

 

 

  • http://samsnoggin.com Sam @ Sam’s Noggin

    I keep sharing these points with all who will listen. There is also a book, which also can be read for free (in a condensed form), called “Does The Birth Control Pill Cause Abortion?” by Randy Alcorn.http://www.epm.org/resources/2010/Feb/17/short-condensation-does-birth-control-pill-cause-a/
    I bought the book years ago at a lecture, and it cemented how I had always felt about the subject, with scientific proof I had a right to be concerned.

    • http://www.radicallychristian.com Wes

      Sam, thanks so much for sharing that link!

  • http://yestheyareallours.com Elizabeth

    Great article! So glad you are getting the TRUTH out!!! Obviously (from the name of my blog) you will see that i learned the truth about the pill about 21 years ago! ;) Actually, it was at that time that God clearly showed my husband and myself that HE wanted to be our “birth controller!” So glad we stepped out in FAITH and TREMBLING TRUST . . . . . .

  • http://www.onefunmom.com Christy

    Thanks, Wes, for being bold and putting this out there. I know the Catholic church is very strong on this, and am glad to see you bringing the issue to all.

  • Steven Hunter

    Wes, the only thing I would add is that birth control also regulates a woman’s cycle. It prevents excessive bleeding to the point of one becoming anemic. My wife and I know a young lady whose cycles were so heavy that she had to be hospitalized and have a transfusion. She was put on the pill to regulate her cycle, so it can serve more than one purpose. I am not aware if there’s an alternative medicine for this problem, but I know some women have to take it for this reason.

    Steven

  • AC

    Read This:

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/19803528/ns/today-today_health/t/can-birth-control-now-impact-pregnancy-later/#.T0ZWkErgLw4

    “Finally, multiple studies have shown that getting pregnant immediately after going off the Pill does not increase the risk of a miscarriage. Remember, the Pill is out of your system within a few days of stopping it (that’s why you get your period at the end of a cycle when you finish the active pills or can have breakthrough ovulation, and an undesired pregnancy, if you miss pills).”

    • Tami

      The article you linked to refers to various risks (or lack of risks) to a pregnancy after a woman stops taking the the Pill, and does not address what could potentially happen to a fertilized egg (a pregnancy) while a woman is currently taking the Pill, which is what this article we are commenting on is talking about.

      • AC

        Oh I see what you’re saying…

  • Tami

    Wes, thank you so much for writing about this! I came to this discovery about five years ago before the birth of our third born who was conceived only four months postpartum from our second born. It was a really hard time, and at the time I thought “I have got to figure out a good birth control option so this doesn’t happen again,” which is funny to think of, because now we have five children and are open to more! I am so thankful God led our family on this journey! What I discovered in my research was hormonal birth control, no matter how it is administered (pill, shot, implant, IUD), all works as you describe. Also, a non-hormonal IUD (copper IUD) also has a mechanism which could prevent implantation, and therefore is not safe for a woman’s unborn child either.

    But there are options. There’s obviously barrier methods (condoms, diaphragms), but I would strongly urge married couples (obviously the only ones who should be having sex in the first place) to learn Natural Family Planning. I know most people not familiar with modern methods of NFP often think of the “Rhythm Method” when the subject is brought up, but that actually is just one antiquated form of Natural Family Planning. More modern forms, such as the Sympto-Thermal Method, Fertility Awareness Method, Billings Method or the Creighton Model, involve a wife and her husband observing and charting the woman’s natural fertility signs, which once you learn what you are looking for are fairly easy to track. Then once you chart your observations you can figure out when an individual woman is likely to be fertile and when she is infertile in her cycle. If a couple wants to prevent pregnancy, they simply abstain or use an alternate form of birth control (barrier method, spermicide) during a woman’s fertile period. It should be noted that if a couple chooses to have sex during a woman’s fertile period, then their likelihood of preventing pregnancy is only as good as whatever form of alternate birth control they use and not a failure of NFP.

    Regarding the discussion about additional medical uses of hormonal birth control, I would simply say that in those cases to view the birth control like any other medicine not recommended for those pregnant or who could become pregnant, and to prayerfully proceed from that viewpoint in deciding what behaviors to engage in. Like many choices in our life there are no easy, one-size-fits-all answers.

    • Marilynn Horner

      Several weeks ago I was struck by the realization that every saved fetus would either go to heaven or hell. I pondered the thought having studied the value of life in our morning Sunday school class. How might we prevent the fate of hell for so many children born at such a disadvantage of an unstable non-Christian home and low standards of living.

      It was revealed to me that Christians should be diligent to reach sexually active non-Christians with God’s word. If we fail to do so, we witness the beautiful perfect child’s environment pulling them toward hell.

      Do we promote life before promoting salvation???
      I am looking for God’s answer.
      Your observation of your precious children born into a loving home is not what so many children have.
      Respectfully
      Marilynn

  • Daniel

    Wes, Great job in commending people to study to this issue for themselves. Maybe I can make a couple of comments that are useful. First, please keep in mind that the PDR contains package inserts that are medical-legal documents filed with the FDA and updated from time to time with advances in information in safety and efficacy. These inserts are considered drug labeling and most in medicine realize that the information is the insert is not the end-all, but a starting point for understanding how a drug works. Inserts do not keep pace with what’s coming forth in the literature. You could imagine how daunting that would be for the FDA. Second, there are many oral contraceptives out on the market: monophasic, biphasic, triphasic, 4-phasic. Most of these drugs are made up of an estrogen component (like ethinyl estradiol) and progesterone component (like levonorgestrel). Here’s an important point. Progesterones, while used as a component in contraceptives, are also used to maintain pregnancy. Women who are having infertility issues are often given Medroxyprogesterone to maintain the uterine lining for implantation. Third, there is some good evidence that progesterones do not prevent implantation. A (2007) study by Lalitkumar, et. al, showed the levonorgestrel (a progesterone) does not prevent attachment of a blastocyst to a uterine wall, while the drug mifepristone (RU-486, Mifeprex) does prevent attachment (implantation). (P. Lalitkumar, et. al. “Mifepristone, but not levonorgestrel, inhibits human blastocyst attachment to an in vitro endometrial three-dimensional cell culture model” (2007) 22 Human Reproduction 3031-3037.) My final comment is a logical one. You can’t prove that a given drug never under any circumstances produces a given action. Why? Because you can’t prove an absolute negative. You can show that the drug most of the time under most circumstances works to prevent ovulation. And you can show that one component (the progesterone component) does not prevent implantation. And you can show that some women taking oral contraceptives do ovulate and do get pregnant on the pill. But, you cannot show that the drug will never under any circumstance give a deleterious action. In fact that level of certainty is virtually nonexistent in the science field. .. . I hope this contributes in some positive way towards your thoughts here. Take care!

  • Anthea

    I am anti-abortion, and I take the Pill. There are lots of different pills about, and the Christian Medical Fellowship here in the UK has an article on its website explaining which contraception is acceptable if you are pro-life.

    I think that some, especially in the US, are spreading rumours about the Pill based on old information about older formulas. In some cases, this is because some of the folks who write against the Pill are against birth control, full stop.

    There are some good arguments for “letting God choose the size of your family”, but I don’t think that deliberately misinforming people is helpful.

    I’d recommend that people Google Christian Medical Fellowship and search the archives of their articles, before making blanket statements about all formulations of the Pill.